Is mixing breeds ok?

sara1226

Songster
Apr 15, 2015
300
33
136
Northern Wisconsin
Two weeks ago we built our 10ft long by 4 1/2ft wide coop, and got 2 jersey giants from a friend of mine. They are both 5 yr old hens who are very friendly and docile. The zoo is selling their 2 year old silkie hens, and I am thinking of getting one, but I worry they won't all get along. I don't want a rooster, because I am new to the world of chickens and I heard they can be mean. I am not keeping the chickens for meet or a ton of eggs either... They are more like pets. Is it safe to add one more, or too risky?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Grain Gypsy

Songster
Apr 9, 2015
129
17
101
Sedgwick County, Kansas
@sara1226 ,
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!

To answer your first question, yes, you can easily have a mixed-breed flock! We have 30 mixed-breed chickens. I think the most we have of any breed is 3.

As far as introducing newbies to your flock, I would strongly suggest doing it in numbers of 2 or more. For instance, maybe you could buy both silkies from the zoo and add them together? I have read from several book and online sources that introducing just one chicken could be risky on a number of counts, but mainly because that single chicken would be destined to be picked on and be at the bottom of the pecking order the rest of its life.

It is recommended that you put all the birds in the coop or run with a see-through (but secure) divider for the first couple of weeks. This will get the birds used to one another before you take the divider down.

I hope this helps!
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,047
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Hey sara1226

I agree with Grain Gypsy regarding the mixed breed flock; it can easily be done.

It is recommended that any newbies to an existing flock be quarantined for at least a couple of weeks to ensure that they do not have any health issues which can be passed onto the existing flock.

If you do go down the quarantine path then I definitely recommend getting more than one Silkie so that she has company while in quarantine.

Also, after the quarantine period, they will be company for each other during the integration phase.

Watch them carefully as Silkies are normally not as big as the LF breeds and while they can defend themselves, they are at a disadvantage size wise. Your Jersey Giants may appear friendly and docile but might not react well to a stranger or strangers in their flock.

The divider idea is a good way to let the two flocks see and interact with each other without the risk of being injured.

Having said all of the above, I have added one chicken to an existing flock, in an emergency and was lucky that she had a plucky chickenality and managed to dodge and weave initial aggression at her being there while still having the determination to be accepted.

It was kind of like, “Hey, I’m here, I’m staying .. get over it!”
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